Read by Trish Rowland
Change was in the air on Breakers Island. Fire Fall Woods was in full color. The once green leaves were now red, orange, and gold. The seasons were changing.
Baxter looked at the beautiful leaves floating in the pond. The hot summer was over. The soft autumn wind was cool.
Baxter knew it was time to look over his house. He started at the top of his lodge. He worked his way down inch by inch to the bottom. He looked all around his home to make sure it would be safe and warm. Soon the cold winter would cover the pond with snow and ice.
Baxter was busy as a beaver could be. He was a very good builder. As he worked on his home, he saw other beavers at play. He thought, “What are they doing? They know summer has ended. Now is the time for them to get to work. Just look at them swim and play all day. It’s time they got to work.”
Some playful beavers called, “Baxter, come with us! You are missing all the fun. The water is great. Come and go fishing with us.”
Baxter looked at the beautiful leaves floating in the pond. The hot summer was over.
Baxter just kept on working. They laughed at Baxter and went to play.
The wind grew cold as the days passed. Most of the beavers worked long and hard on their homes. They knew they were running out of time.
A few beavers still played. They called to Baxter, “Come on and take the day off. Your house looks like new. All you do is work!” He tried to warn the playful beavers about the cold wind, but they didn’t listen.
Baxter looked over his lodge again. He still had work to do. This was not the time to stop and play. His father had told him, “Son, trust me. Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today.”
That night a very cold wind blew across the pond. It looked like it was raining leaves. The tree branches were almost bare.
Two things happened that night.
The beavers that had worked on their lodges were safe and warm. The playful beavers were not. Strong gusts of wind had cut into their homes. They were scared and very cold.
They came to Baxter and asked, “Can we stay with you? Our lodges can’t keep out the wind.”
Baxter said, “I’m sorry. I wish I could help you. My lodge is full. There is only room for my family.”
They cried, “What are we to do? It’s so cold! We may freeze to death this winter.”
Baxter was wise and kind. He replied, “It’s time for you to work as hard as you play. It’s not too late to work on your lodges but you must hurry. You don’t have much time left. I will help you if you are willing to work. Others may also be willing to help. You must show them that you are willing to work.”
The playful beavers knew Baxter was right. They began working on their lodges. Other beavers saw Baxter helping them and asked, “Baxter, why are you working on their lodges? They played when they should have been working. You tried to warn them and they laughed at you. Why are you helping them now?”
Baxter said, “Our friends are in danger and need our help. Many hands make light work. All the lodges will be safe this winter if we work together.”
Baxter said to the playful beavers, “There is so much to be done. We must work fast.”
They asked, “Where should we start?”
Baxter said, “Let’s start at the top. We will work inch by inch down to the bottom. Then we will work on all the sides to make sure the cold wind can’t blow into your lodges.”
Everyone watched to see what would happen. They saw that the once playful beavers were working long and hard every day. Other beavers joined in to help them in the nick of time. After several weeks of hard work, all the lodges were ready for the cold winter months.
When the winter snow fell on the pond, all the beavers were safe and warm in their dry lodges.
“It is time for you to work as hard as your play…” said Baxter.